Some enterprising drug dealers are helping copper thieves cut out the middleman. They’re accepting copper pipe as legal tender in exchange for crack cocaine.
“Whether it’s a copper aluminum coil or insulation, it can be sold at night to bootleggers who are open from 9 o’clock at night to 3 in the morning,” scrapyard owner Van Kono told Local 10 in Miami, Florida.
That’s why the Miami-Dade County police have created a new task force to crack down on the copper for crack trade.
But it will take more than just boots on the ground to stop the crime, which has resulted in the copper wiring being ripped out from streetlights, from South Florida businesses and even churches. You have to cut it off at the source: more controls are needed at the scrapyard that buys the copper. They’re the market makers. Which is why one scrapyard has new, tighter restrictions for people who drive up trying to sell metal.
“We now have systems in place where we have to ask for fingerprints, we have to get pictures. We take a picture of the material,” Kono told Local 10. “We do more than what a bank does.”
Copper Wiring Traded For Crack [Local 10] (Thanks to GitEmSteveDave!)